With the increasing demand for renewable forms of energy and with technological advancements, building a smart grid is the way forward!
The smart grid introduces the two-way dialogue where electricity and data can be exchanged between the utility and its customers. This technology will make the grid more efficient, reliable, safe and greener! The smart grid enables the integration of renewable technologies into the grid, such as wind and solar energy production.
One step to a smart grid is by using net metering technology.
Understanding Net metering
Net metering allows renewable energy technology to be used at the residential, commercial, or community level. The Net metering program in Saskatchewan currently allows customers to connect up to 100 kW renewable energy at a single meter. The existing electrical meter is exchanged for a net meter or “bi-directional” meter. This meter will read power in both directions, allowing the customer to feed additional power to the grid and receive credit for the power being produced. The power credits are only good for a single meter and they reset annually, so credits are not able to be accumulated or paid out at the end of the year. This means that any installation must be sized correctly to ensure it is producing only the amount of power that it is being used by the building or site connected to the single meter.
Net metering allows the customer to benefit financially from installing a renewable energy system to offset the costs of electricity for that building or site. For example, solar can be installed on a community center where the power bill may be $1000 per month. The solar could take care of 75-100% of the electricity costs, allowing that money to be used for other communities’ needs.
For more information, please visit SaskPower